io design & illustration, inc.
fun and functional design & illustration services for print and web

Seasonal Wreath – Pen & Ink

Seasonal Wreath, starting from 12 o'clock position, clockwise: Violet (faithfulness), Dogwood (love undiminished), Dandelion (wishes come true), Lily of the Valley (happiness), Baby's Breath (festivity), Azalea (romance), Gardenia (peace, joy), Sunflower (loyalty), Oregano (creativity), Rosemary (wisdom), Tiger Lily (wealth), Goldenrod (good fortune), Oak (longevity), Ivy (wedding love), Pine (fertility), Honeysuckle (bonds of love).

I love working with pen & ink and ink wash. Something about dipping a pen in ink and setting it to paper, watching as you draw a line how subtle changes in pressure and angle manipulate the flow of ink, puts Zen in my day like nothing else. Weird since it is an irreversible process and one error can mean reworking an entire piece. Unfortunately, I don’t get to create with pen & ink very often, so when I do it is a special treat.

The Seasonal Wreath (actually I have created three similar images each with unique fauna) is a large scale illustration measuring approximately 16 inches across. It represents many hours of work, from pencil sketching and refining, to inking the lines and adding the tonal wash.

Each wreath represents the seasons as you move clockwise around the illustration – spring, summer, fall, winter. The piece shown here is focused on Eastern US flowers and plants. The selection of plants illustrated was a combination of requests from a bride-to-be, some of my personal favorite flowers and a book which lists the historic meanings associated with certain plants. The final image was reproduced as a wedding invitation with the wreath image on the front and the traditional meanings listed on the back.

Kristina & Ben’s Wedding Invitations

Samples from the wedding collection designed for Kristina & Ben. Shown are: Save the Date, Thank You Card, Invitation and Envelope.

It is a great pleasure to create an illustration specifically for wedding invitations, especially for good friends.

For Kristina & Ben’s invitation, a main illustration was the focus on the front, with smaller elements pulled to decorate the inside and accompanying pieces — Save the Date, RSVP, Directions, Ceremony Program and Thank You Cards. Even the envelopes had a touch of illustration in the corners.

Pen & ink is one of my first loves in drawing mediums and lends itself beautifully to botanical images. Kristina’s & Ben’s invitations feature three flower types arranged along the left and base to frame their initials.

Printed with deep chocolate brown ink and pink tints on natural white paper, the pieces coordinated beautifully with the entire wedding decor.

A toast to the happy couple!